Picture this: It’s a Monday afternoon and I’m in my bedroom with my computer open, desperately trying to block out the noisy background so I can focus on my online class.
I can hear my brothers fighting over who knows what downstairs. My sister is scream-crying. Someone is stomping up the stairs yelling right outside my bedroom door. I silence my Zoom screen so my classmates can’t hear the chaos. (Thank God for the mute button, am I right?)
I am no longer paying attention to what my poor teacher is saying—I am fuming inside.
“I wish I was an only child! Then everything would be so peaceful and easy!”
I regretted the thought the second after.
Why did I regret this thought?
It’s because even though they are crazy and loud and obnoxious and bouncing off the walls (literally), I still love my siblings. I understand that being an only child doesn’t mean instant peace and happiness anyway. Siblings are a blessing from the Lord. Here’s why.
1. They are friends.
Crazy right? You’re probably thinking, “Is she insane?! There is no way that my obnoxious little brother or my bossy older sister could be my friend.”
But, you did hear me correctly. Siblings can be our friends. One lesson that Jesus repeats to us over and over and over again is to love our BROTHERS AND SISTERS. And yes, he was talking about other people around us, but this applies to our actual brothers and sisters just as much, if not more.
How can we be a friend to our brother or sister?
Be intentional. Spend time with them. Be selfless and focus on them and their interests. (Philippians 2:3)
I do this by playing stuffed animals with my three year old sister or by watching a Star Wars movie with my eleven year old brother.
It doesn’t have to be anything big, but I think you will find you will actually enjoy spending time with your siblings. There is a certain level of joy attained when we are not focused on ourselves, but rather someone else. It shows them we care.
2. We can mentor them.
I’m specifically speaking about mentoring our younger siblings, but it can also apply to older siblings.
We are placed in their lives, by God, to be a mentor to them. We can help lead them along the right paths, encourage them, and help them to grow in their faith.
If you are an older sibling, chances are you’ve gone through life experiences and may have some wise advice for those younger than you.
3. We can learn from them
We just talked about how our sibs can learn from us, but the opposite is also true. Do you have a wise older brother or sister that can teach you things? Ask them. Be humble about accepting their wisdom. Learn from their choices, the good and bad ones.
My little brother has been an example to me about how to be kind and generous even though he is only seven! He encourages and builds up our little sister in such a genuine way, and it inspires me!
Each time we mess up and have to ask our siblings for forgiveness, we learn and grow.
God put these people in our lives for that reason.
4. They have gone through life alongside us.
Chances are, if you have a sibling, they have gone through life with you. They were there when your family was going through hard times. They were there when your family was going through a great time! They were there, with you.
They know the family drama and secrets.
They have seen you at your best, and at your worst. (Like when you are yelling at them to please stop shooting your Nerf gun at my back…or is that only me?)
They know you at your weakest most broken places. You better believe that my brothers have been the people that I cried with when our grandfather passed away. They were the people I prayed with when a family member was sick. They were the people I screamed with on the most terrifying water slide I’ve ever been on. They are the people I die laughing with at inside jokes that only we know.
This is why our siblings can be life’s greatest blessings. God placed these people in our family for special reasons. I never want to look back and have any regrets about not being intentional to love my siblings, or not spending enough time with them, or refusing to forgive them.
They are the people I can be silly with or serious with. True, at times they are the most annoying people on the planet, but I know that I can annoy them just as much as they annoy me.
Please don’t miss this, if you were placed by God into a family with a lot of siblings, you were placed there for a reason.
The Bible says, “If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he can see, cannot love God whom he cannot see.” (1 John 4:20)
Now, I know, believe me, I know, loving your brothers and sisters is not going to be easy. But easy is not what it’s about. It’s about doing hard things here. Putting in the effort. Being patient. Being kind. Being humble. (1st Corinthians 13)
Trust me, it pays off to have a good and strong sibling relationships. My mother always told us that, if you could love your family, you could love anyone, and that’s the truth.
So love them. Treat them like they matter. Mentor them. Learn from them. Go through life’s ups and downs together.
Believe that they are truly one of life’s greatest blessings, and be blessed!